Any one for cycling? Calorie cycling that is. Calorie cycling is not necessarily a new concept with a recent documentary suggesting that the 5 day eating clean and two days eat anything you like diet is the best way of keeping you at your desirable weight. If you have ever been to a clinical nutritionist a diet plan can look overwhelming with so many variations creating confusing. Bamboozling as it may appear there is method in their madness.
One of the key questions asked is “why can’t I just cut calories without the variations”? This type of dieting will defeat the purpose of shifting weight forever. Calorie restriction will provide weight loss including fat, fluid and muscle loss, however, whenever you increase your calorie load you will put it back on and some. Calorie cycling is about changing things up a bit to reach your set point weight, with an emphasis on maintenance of your new lean body. There has been significant evidence suggesting that brief and relatively infrequent periods of fasting and/or carbohydrate restriction may actually be advantageous for both health and body composition. (4)
Calorie cycling or calorie shifting is based on three phases over a six-week period, including different amounts of carbs, fats , protein and of course calories. By changing the amount of calories week to week you naturally recharge your metabolism. This is a secret that has been utilised by body builders and athletes in the past decades and has kept them in their best shape for extended periods of time. (3) Whilst there are different methods of calorie cycling the most common is that carbohydrate intake is manipulated with the protein and fat intake staying relatively constant. The Refeeding part of the cycle is really about increasing carbohydrates. The third phase of the eating plan is especially important and that is the fasting period. This period is usually whilst you sleep and starts from the last meal that you eat in the evening to the breaking of the fast (breakfast) which should be around 12-14 hours. This is the time that your body will use all the nutrients that you have provided throughout the day for regeneration and repair.
To stay at your desirable weight or set point, (that is the weight that you look and function best) you need to add variety in your diet never eating the same meal at the same time over and over. You constantly have to shock your body so that the body never really knows what it is going to get. This type of diet was implemented and studied over 4 weeks with great results. The study found that 72 people that participated had a fat loss between 5 and 6 kgs. Whilst metabolic rate did not change, their pathology revealed a decrease in glucose, overall cholesterol, including triglycerides with a decreased appetite and enhanced satiety. (1)
This is a great way of achieving fat loss as opposed to just losing “weight”. To further your weight loss your body will benefit from resistance training and a little bit of cardio. Be mindful that everyone is different and have different needs that’s why it is best to choose a reliable, recommended and qualified nutritionist that can guide you through out this process. Say no to unwanted fats, and other nasties that you may have slipped into your diet over the years and say yes to creating the changes that will only be beneficial for you for years to come.
1 Davoodi SH1, Ajami M2, Ayatollahi SA3, Dowlatshahi K4, Javedan G5, Pazoki-Toroudi HR6. Int J Prev Med. 2014 Apr;5(4):447-56. Calorie shifting diet versus calorie restriction diet: a comparative clinical trial study.
2 Müller MJ1, Enderle J2, Pourhassan M2, Braun W2, Eggeling B2, Lagerpusch M2, Glüer CC3, Kehayias JJ4, Kiosz D2, Bosy-Westphal A5.Metabolic adaptation to caloric restriction and subsequent refeeding: the Minnesota Starvation Experiment revisited. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;102(4):807-19. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.109173. Epub 2015 Sep 23.
3 Lauren, Mark, “body fuel “; 21 jan 2016 publishedd by vermilion
Caroline is a clinical Nutritionist practicing on a consultation basis. Caroline's experience encompasses research and writing on disease prevention with natural herbs, spices, foods and supplementation. Caroline practices holistic nutritional medicine that combines the three elements of being human. Those being, the physical , emotional and the mental components that make us who we are. All of these criterior is fueled by the fundamental of all health, food .